Two and a half years ago, my partner Peer was admitted to Charing Cross Hospital for emergency brain surgery to remove a cyst that was obstructing the fluid flow in his brain. This surgery almost certainly saved his life. Today we returned to the hospital to get the results of his 2-year scans, and the professor of neurosurgery told him that they would no longer need to monitor his progress.
This news is both exciting and scary: on the one hand, it is confirmation of the phenomenal progress that Peer has made since his operation (which initially left him with no short-term memory, precious little attention span, and significant mood swing); on the other hand, I get a certain sense of being cast adrift, and whatever I feel can be nothing on Peer’s reaction.
We know we aren’t without support: if anything happens we can go back to the hospital, where the neurology unit will always have Peer’s notes on record; but perhaps this is to miss the point. For the last two and a half years we have had to take each year, each month, each week as it came; now, finally, is our chance to break out of this and look into the more distant future. Perhaps it’s the sense of vertigo that this new perspective engenders that is so dizzying. Maybe we’ll need another two and a half years to get used to it!